The area is home of Bantu and non-Bantu speaking tribes

The area is home to four tribes namely the Bantu speaking, Mbugwe and the non-Bantu tribes, Maasai, Datoga and Iraqw.  The tribes in the area with different traditions customs, dresses,  do not only preserve and showcase their traditions and livelihoods, but also represent three among the four African major linguistic families, who are Bantus, Nilotics and Cushitics.


The Mbugwe are Bantu people who live beside Lake Manyara near the base  of the Great Rift Valley.  They are traditionally cultivators and  cattle herders.  Their closest relations are the Rangi of Kondoa District in Dodoma Region, whose physical physical appearance, tribal mythology and language are very similar.


Iraqw ethnic group, who is classified as Afro-Asiatic language group has their own language, which is quite different with Bantu group languages. The Iraqw language contains elements, which are quite different with other languages, This made impossible for them to learn, share or strengthen their belief through the Holy Bible. The Afro-Asiatic group is the main language family such as Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic and Hausa. The language has a large number of Datoga loanwords, especially in poetic language.

Their wealth lay in cattle but unlike they Datoga they cultivate food on a large scale.


The Datoga people live in Tanzania. The most general name for this widely- dispersed ethnic group is Datoga, though it is sometimes spelled Tatoga. The best-known and most numerous sub-tribe of the Datoga peoples are the pastoral Barabaig, who reside chiefly in that part of the northern volcanic highlands dominated by Mount Hanang (3,418 metres). The sacred nature of this mountain makes it an important theme in Barabaig myth and song. In some people lists, the Barabaig are listed as a separate people, but as speaking the Datoga language.

Their origins are thought to be in the Southern Sudan or western Ethiopia highlands, probably 3000 years ago. A gradual southward migration of their ancestral people resulted in a settlement of the highland areas of Kenya and Tanzania by speakers of Nilotic languages, herding and ultimately farming in those rich highlands by about AD 1500, they  congregated at Mount Elgon in Kenya they remained until 18th century. Some then migrated south to the Serengeti Plains and occupied the Ngorongoro Highlands.  Then fled from the more numerous and powerful Maasai and surrendered the Ngorongoro Highlands to them. From there, they dispersed in a southward direction along the Rift Valley. They were all Datoga at this time, but as different groups became separated, they formed sub-tribes which acquired names related particularly characteristics. These Highland Nilotes are now divided into two groups, the Kalenjin cluster of peoples.

The Datoga themselves blend in with their environment, their dress being the colour of the reddish brown soil. Only on closer inspection will they appear colorful with their reddish, patched leather dresses, bead work, and brass bracelets and necklaces. A prominent decoration is tatooing of circular patterns around the eyes and piercing holes on ears.

They are part of the broad Nilotic migration from the Sudan along the Nile.  Their language, with its dialects, is a Southern Nilote language, related distantly to the Kalenjin languages of Kenya.

They were formerly nomadic, depending largely on milk products for their diet, and moving whenever the needs of their cattle dictated.

The ideal family situation is polygamous, with wives ranked in order of marriage. Marriage must be outside of the clan. Funerals are extensive ceremonies, lasting up to a year. Power centers in a neighborhood council of elders. Group pressure is the primary social control, but elders can impose fines and curses. Men drink honey beer as a sacred drink on ritual occasions.

They are resistant to cultural change, including belief in Christianity, maintaining a strong adherence to traditional animist beliefs and practices.Maasai

They are well-known nomadic  Nilotes and are traced to East Africa from Sudan.  They speak Maa language.  It is easy to recognize by their traditional style of dressing and adornment. Maasai men wear red and brownish unbuttoned garment. They are tall, slender people and courageous.


They are well-known nomadic  Nilotes and are traced to East Africa from Sudan.  They speak Maa language.  It is easy to recognize by their traditional style of dressing and adornment.  Maasai men wear red and brownish unbuttoned garment.  They are tall, slender people and courageous.

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